Shining a light on the tastemakers behind the desk
In the lead up to RSD 2022 we’ll be featuring some of the legends behind the scenes at participating stores in a short interview segment we’re calling Turning Tables—shining a light on the faces, names, minds and tastemakers behind the desk who greet our crate-digging friends with invaluable knowledge and an undying love for all things music.
Today we’re featuring The Gong’s Jeb Taylor from Music Farmers.
What store can we find you at and how long have you been there?
Music Farmers. We’re located in Wollongong NSW and have been running since 2004.
Favourite debut record of all time?
This is so tough and it would change for me over time so I’m going to say one that relates to the timing of the shop. Arcade Fire’s Funeral came out about a month before we first opened and it was played so much in the first few months of the shop, every time now that I hear something from that record it still transports me back to that time of opening a record store with no idea what we were doing.
Tell us about the most valuable (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
There are definitely a few in the collection but one that relates directly to the shop is the 1981 7″ from Wollongong band The Sunday Painters called Painting By Numbers. I was doing an interview on local ABC Radio, I can’t remember what the interview was specifically about but I was talking about some historical local artists within it. A few hours later I got a random call from someone asking if I’d be at the shop tomorrow as they had something for me. The next day the man that had called turned up with an unplayed copy of the above 7″ which is near impossible to get and really expensive when it does turn up and said something along the lines of ‘I really liked your interview on the radio and your enthusiasm for local music, this is for you’. He was a retired teacher and had actually taught some members of the band back in the day and they’d given him two copies of the record back then. I keep it on display on top of my record shelf at home, it’s a great reminder of how running a local focus store creates some important community connections with a wide cross section of people.
Favourite Australian release of all time?
I’ll keep it local and say the Tumbleweed debut album. They have had such an influence, as a young kid first getting into music I discovered this band and they were a bunch of guys from just a few suburbs away putting out a record that was getting national recognition and they were playing major festival stages. It kind of showed me you can grow up in the suburbs of Wollongong and reach that national audience. I still listen to this album regularly and if it wasn’t for these guys I probably wouldn’t have followed the path working in music.
Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
Out the front of the store we have a mural of Betty Davis painted on the wall, and the reason we did that is because her records were pretty much our go to recommendation for someone that asked the ‘what’s good, I want to pick up something I don’t know’ question. No one has ever come back disappointed in this selection.
Favourite in-store performance of all time?
Prior to where we are now, we were located in a big old laneway warehouse that was able to host events that were somewhere between instores and gigs. Ten years ago my good friend Aaron who runs Spunk records sent me a message to say ‘Bonnie Prince Billy wants to do a low key unannounced show somewhere around ‘gong as he wants to come down to the beach, want to do it at the shop?’ I obviously said yes and the vibe was supposed to be him playing 3 or 4 songs solo. We’d invited people we knew but kept it pretty low key, his band and himself had played Sydney Opera House the night before and on the morning of the show, we got a message saying the band (who featured a young Angel Olsen at the time) want to play as well now, is that ok? So the whole band came down and played and the 3 or 4 songs turned into playing for well over an hour. His closing remark was something like ‘this is way better than playing the Opera House’…….
228 Keira St
Phone: (02) 4228 0459
Open 7 Days!